The CMS Office of Minority Health welcomes your participation in promoting observances throughout the year to raise awareness about health issues affecting people across our nation. Share our resources on prevention, health equity, and research about health disparities.
February Is African American History Month
During African American History Month, the CMS Office of Minority Health celebrates the history, achievements, and contributions of African Americans to our nation. We also recognize and must focus on the health status and access challenges that disproportionately affect African Americans every day.
African Americans between the ages of 18 to 49 years are twice as likely to die from heart disease compared with whites, and those ages 35 to 64 years are 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure. Rates of diabetes, stroke, asthma, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and influenza are also higher, while fewer people have insurance. The good news is that overall, the death rate for African Americans has decreased. CMS is focused on making concentrated efforts to end these disparities, while helping millions of African Americans with health care access and disease prevention and control through Medicare and Medicaid.
Recognizing American Heart Month
The CMS Office of Minority Health also recognizes February as American Heart Month. We will continue to work in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement the strategies of the Million Hearts® initiative, which aims to address heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases for all Americans. Through both observances, the CMS Office of Minority Health is focused on increasing awareness of the impact cardiovascular disease and implementing strategies towards risk reduction and control. To access tools and resources to support heart health in your community, visit Million Hearts®.
Below are additional resources you can use within your organization and community during the month and beyond:
- CMS Data Snapshots: Learn how common heart conditions affect African Americans through CMS Data Snapshots on Ischemic Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure, Hypertension, and Stroke.
- CMS Mapping Disparities Tool: This interactive tool can be used to investigate geographic and ethnic and racial differences in health outcomes among different populations across the U.S.
- CMS Prevention Resources: Recommend appropriate preventive services, including cardiovascular disease screening tests and intensive behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease.
- From Coverage to Care: Download From Coverage to Care resources, including A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You and A Roadmap to Behavioral Health, to learn how to better find, navigate, and use health insurance and behavioral health services.
- Million Hearts: Visit the HHS Million Hearts® website, a collaboration between CMS and CDC, for more resources to help educate, motivate, and monitor your patients, such as ABCS for Heart Health/Cuatro pasos adelante and tip sheets for general, African American, and Spanish-speaking populations on controlling blood pressure.